CMHO is calling on party leaders and candidates to make Ontario the top province for children and youth to
access mental health supports.
TORONTO, April 5, 2022 – Ahead of the provincial election, Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) has launched the next phase of its #KidsCantWait campaign, calling on Ontario party leaders and candidates to sign the pledge to make Ontario the top jurisdiction in Canada to access child and youth mental health supports.
“Before the pandemic began, half of Ontario’s children and youth were at risk for mental health issues. Sadly, the number of young people struggling with their mental health has only been increasing over the past two years,” says Mary Kloosterman, Interim CEO of CMHO. “We’re calling on all Ontario political leaders to sign the pledge to make Ontario the top jurisdiction in Canada for children and youth to access mental health supports.”
The #KidsCantWait Pledge has four pillars that all Ontario parties can adopt if they form government to make Ontario the top jurisdiction in Canada for children and their families to access mental health supports and services:
- Invest $300M over the next 5 years into child and youth mental health supports and services
- Cut wait times for mental health services to 30 days
- Build more capacity in the community so kids don’t end up in emergency rooms
- Develop a highly qualified and sustainable workforce of children’s mental health professionals
“Some kids are currently waiting up to two and a half years to see a mental health professional. That means they’re more likely to experience a crisis and more emergency room visits occur as a result,” continued Kloosterman. “Even when kids can get faster access to a mental health professional, there’s no consistency and stability in the resources and professionals they see. Our kids can’t wait any longer—they need our political leaders to take action.”
As part of the new phase of the campaign, CMHO is launching a new website, cmho.org/kidscantwait, which Ontarians can use to send a letter to their local candidates asking them to sign the pledge to make Ontario the number one jurisdiction in Canada for access to mental health supports for children and youth. The campaign will also see a series of videos launched on social media over the provincial campaign period encouraging the party leaders and all of their candidates to sign the pledge and take action when they are in office.